The Philadelphia Flyers search for a new head coach is over.
John Tortorella has signed a four-year contract to become the Flyers new head coach, the team announced Friday. Tortorella becomes the 23rd head coach in Flyers history, taking over for Mike Yeo.
“I am very excited to be joining such a historic and well-respected franchise like the Philadelphia Flyers,” said Tortorella. “From my very first conversation with Chuck, I knew this was the right fit for me and I believe in the direction this team is heading. Having faced the Flyers for several years, I know firsthand how tough of a city Philly is to play in and I look forward to being on the right side of the bench on opening night in front of such a loyal and passionate crowd of Flyers fans.”
The 63-year-old led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004, watching his team eliminate the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Final that season. Tortorella has also served as head coach of the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, reaching the playoffs in 12 of his 20 NHL seasons.
Tortorella has posted a 673-541-37 record during his time in the NHL, most recently leading the Blue Jackets to the playoffs in four of his six seasons as head coach. The Boston, Massachusetts native has since served as an analyst with ESPN’s NHL team, but now looks to take over a new project in Philadelphia.
“I am very happy to bring in John to be the next head coach and voice behind the bench of the Flyers,” said Flyers GM and President of Hockey Operations Chuck Fletcher. “John demands the best out of his players every single game. He is a Stanley Cup Champion and has a lengthy track record of both regular season and playoff success. During the interview process we discussed a number of factors that are crucial to bring this team immediate success and it became clear to me that his vision and style makes him the right person to restore a winning environment to our locker room.”
The Flyers fired coach Alain Vigneault in December 2021 amid an 8-11-4 start to the season that included an eight-game losing streak. Mike Yeo was named interim coach, posting a 17-36-7 record behind the bench as the Flyers failed to make the postseason for a second-straight season.
Tortorella’s arrival brings a new atmosphere to the team, especially with the longtime veteran known for his fiery antics behind the bench and in the locker room. The Flyers watched as longtime captain Claude Giroux left the team via trade to Florida, but still has several key pieces of their roster including Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee, Ivan Provorov, and Carter Hart.